The Lanka Academic

 
FEBRUARY 6, 2008 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 8, NO. 306

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Media threats hurt Sri Lanka rights - Amnesty
reuters, feb 7. LONDON (Reuters) - Attacks and threats against Sri Lanka's media are creating a culture of silence and lack of dissent just as abductions, killings and rights abuses rise in the island's civil war, Amnesty International said on Thursday.

The rights group said in a report that at least 10 media workers -- mostly from the ethnic Tamil minority -- have been killed in the last two years as a 2002 ceasefire between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels collapsed into all-out war.

Some of the dead journalists were covering abuses, including murders, abduction and torture blamed on security forces. More than 70,000 people have died in the conflict since 1983. More... Discuss this story
Published: Wed Feb 6 22:15:26 EST 2008


43 killed in Lanka clashes
pti, feb 7. Colombo (PTI): At least 37 Tamil Tigers and six soldiers were killed in fierce clashes in Sri Lanka's embattled north, where Air Force jets bombed an LTTE base in the rebel stronghold of Wanni, officials here said on Wednesday.

The fighter jets raided an LTTE gathering point in Thiruwe Aru, one-km northwest of Iranamdu Tank in Wanni, the Defence Ministry said, adding the Air Force pilots launched precision attacks at the target.

In ground clashes, at least 12 rebels were gunned down by security forces in Nagarkovil in Jaffna, where 30 bunkers of the Tamil Tigers were also destroyed, the Media Centre for National Security said.

A solider was killed in Pokkaravani area of Vavuniya in a clash with LTTE on Tuesday while a Tamil Tiger was gunned down when the army attacked a rebel bunker at Kallikulam in the same region. More... Discuss this story
Published: Wed Feb 6 22:19:52 EST 2008 Back to the top


Sri Lankan military says it killed 12 Sri Lankan rebels in major offensive in north
Associated Press, Wed February 6, 2008 01:49 EST . RAVI NESSMAN - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Government troops launched an offensive Wednesday against rebel fortifications in northern Sri Lankan, destroying 30 bunkers and killing 12 Tamil Tiger fighters, while air force jets bombed a meeting of the separatist group's leaders, the military said.

The attacks were part of an escalating operation against the rebels' de facto state in the north. President Mahinda Rajapaksa's government has promised to destroy the group by the end of the year and end the long-running war in this Indian Ocean island nation.

In the fighting Wednesday morning, troops backed by artillery, mortar fire and tanks crossed over the front lines south of rebel-held territory about 5:15 a.m. and attacked a string of Tamil Tiger bunkers, said military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara.

After about an hour of fighting that killed 12 rebels, the troops returned to their positions, he said.

``We don't want (the Tamil Tigers) to get organized in the first line of defense so they would start troubling us,'' he said. ``We wanted to give them maximum damage and maximum destruction.''

Two hours later, air force jets bombed a meeting of rebel leaders northwest of Kilinochchi, the main town controlled by the Tamil Tigers, Nanayakkara said.

Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan did not answer repeated calls from The Associated Press seeking comment, however the Tamil Tigers and the military routinely give vastly different accounts of the same battles.

With the fighting increasing in the north, bombings of buses, train stations and other targets deep inside government-controlled territory have escalated, with the military blaming the rebels for the attacks.

Suspected rebels detonated a bomb at a power transformer in a Colombo suburb early Wednesday, and a bomb at a second transformer was found late Tuesday, Nanayakkara said.

Since Saturday, at least 43 people were killed in two separate bus bombings and a bombing attack on Colombo's main railway station.

The Tamil Tigers have been fighting since 1983 for an independent homeland for ethnic minority Tamils after decades of being marginalized by Sinhalese-dominated governments. More than 70,000 people have died in the fighting.

Amnesty International said in a statement Tuesday that the government and the rebels were ``failing to comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law and are killing civilians on an increasingly regular basis.''

``With no perpetrators brought to justice, a climate of impunity is becoming entrenched: Unless these patterns are reversed the future appears bleak,'' the statement quoted Tim Parritt, deputy program director for Asia-Pacific, as saying.
Published: Wed Feb 6 03:23:43 EST 2008 Back to the top

Related News Stories
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Sri Lanka carries out air strikes, says 37 rebels dead  - AFP
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12 Sri Lankan rebels killed  - Associated Press

Flag’s terrorism links under question
excaliber, feb 7. The York University Tamil Students’ Association (YUTSA) has passed a motion to use the Tamil Eelam flag to represent the organization in the future and during the university’s Multicultural Week... Back to the top

Karunanidhi lists steps initiated to curb LTTE activity
ians, feb 7. Chennai : Seeking to dispel an impression that his government was soft on the Tamil Tigers, Chief Minister M... Back to the top

Manpower Agency Pays Compensation for Maid’s Death
Arab News, Feb 7, 2008. A diamond necklace worth SR4,000 and SR3,500 in cash is part of the compensation that will be given to a Sri Lankan woman whose daughter starved to death in October 2005 while working as a maid in the Kingdom... Back to the top

Lankan trade delegation to arrive tomorrow
peninsula online, feb 7. DOHA • A second trade delegation representing the construction industry in Sri Lanka is scheduled to arrive here tomorrow... Back to the top

Sri Lanka, politicians celebrate independence while the people continue to die
asianews, feb 7. Colombo (AsiaNews) - It makes no sense to celebrate independence when the country is at war... Back to the top

War in Sri Lanka is the Legacy left by the European Colonialism - Dr.Peter Leitner
Asian Tribune, Tue, 2008-02-05. Dr. Peter Leitner, is the President Higgins Counter Terrorism Research Center, and former Professor with the National Center for Bio Defense of the George Mason University US... Back to the top

Relatives bury Sri Lankan high school baseball players killed in suicide bombing
Associated Press, Wed February 6, 2008 05:40 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Teachers and relatives grieved Wednesday for a high school baseball team and its coach, killed when a Sri Lankan suicide bomber blew herself up at a busy train station as they returned home from a tournament... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Says Rebels Forced Back Toward Headquarters in North
bloomberg, feb 6. Feb. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lanka said the army is driving the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam from defense lines toward the rebel headquarters in the north, the last region held by Tamil Tiger forces in the South Asian island nation. ``Reports from the Wanni and northern fronts reveal that terrorists are on the run into close perimeters of Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts,'' the Defense Ministry said in a statement late yesterday... Back to the top

30 LTTE bunkers' destroyed
BBC Sinhala, Wed, Feb 6, 2008, 0:40 EDT. The military in Sri Lanka says it has destroyed thirty Tamil Tigers bunkers in a coordinated attack against a rebel stronghold in the north of the country... Back to the top

Sri Lanka patrol craft sunk in attack on sea border with India+
Associated Press, Tue February 5, 2008 09:54 EST . - - COLOMBO, Feb. 5 (Kyodo) A Sri Lanka - Navy patrol craft with seven crew on board was sunk by suspected Tamil rebels Monday near the maritime boundary with India, military officials said Tuesday. The Sri Lanka - Navy did not acknowledge the losses on its website but reported the same incident, saying it occurred after what appeared to be an Indian fishing boat experiencing problems sought the assistance of the Sri Lanka - Navy boats... Back to the top

LTTE rocks Congress-DMK boat again
IANS, feb 6. New Delhi/Chennai, Feb 6 (IANS) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger guerrillas are once again at the heart of a row between Tamil Nadu's ruling DMK party and the Congress... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Jet Fighters Bomb Tamil Rebel Command Bases (Update2)
bloomberg.com, feb 5. Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lankan jet fighters bombed a command center and a communication station of the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam during attacks in the country's northeast, the Defense Ministry said. The raid on the command and control facility occurred early today in Kaivelikulam near the town of Puthukudiruppu, the ministry said in a statement... Back to the top

Government firm in checking LTTE activities, says Karunanidhi
hindu, feb 5. CHENNAI: Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Monday asserted that the State Government was firm in preventing Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam activities in the State... Back to the top

U.K. Tamils protest outside Downing Street
hindu, feb 6. LONDON: Britain’s pro-LTTE Tamil groups on Monday used the 60th anniversary of Sri Lanka’s independence to launch a high-profile campaign to highlight the “sufferings” of Tamils in the island nation, with a protest outside Downing Street... Back to the top

Sri Lanka stages mass funerals after Freedom Day bloodshed
afp, feb 5. COLOMBO (AFP) - Sri Lanka staged mass funerals for bomb blast victims on Tuesday after independence day festivities were marred by a string of attacks blamed on Tamil Tiger rebels... Back to the top

Fresh fighting in Sri Lanka kills 20 rebels, two soldiers, military says
Associated Press, Tue February 5, 2008 07:00 EST . RAVI NESSMAN - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) A fresh round of fighting between security forces and Tamil separatists in Sri Lanka - 's volatile north killed 20 rebels and two soldiers as air force jets bombed two suspected rebel bases, the military said Tuesday... Back to the top

LTTE drives a wedge into DMK-Cong alliance
morungexpress, feb 5. Chennai, February 5 (Agencies): Responding to ‘frequent criticism’ from close ally Congress accusing the DMK government of being too soft on LTTE allies like Thirumavalavan, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi hit back saying he is prepared for a power change in the state... Back to the top

Military might on show as country celebrates I-Day
Gulftimes, feb 5. COLOMBO: A defiant Sri Lankan military paraded tanks and troops as fighter jets flew overhead yesterday to mark the country’s 60th anniversary of independence amid fears Tamil Tiger rebels would attack the celebrations... Back to the top

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